Dell launches dedupe appliance, VMware integration

New Dell DR4000 machine is aimed at small, midsize businesses, remote enterprise sites

Dell on Wednesday unveiled a new disk-based backup appliance that can perform data deduplication and replication tasks.

The company today also launched the next generation of its Compellent Storage Center software, which adds support 64-bit technology and more tightly integrates with VMware vSphere's storage APIs.

The DR4000, Dell's first deduplication appliance, is based on technology that the company gained in its acquisition of data compression vendor Ocarina in 2010.

The DR4000 comes in 2.7TB, 5.4TB and 9TB models and can achieve up to a 15:1 data reduction ratio, allowing the boxes to store up to 100TB in a 2U (3.5-in high) array, according to Bob Fine, director of product marketing for Dell Compellent.

The DR4000 is designed for use by small and midsize businesses as a primary data store for users seeking backup and disaster recovery capabilities, Dell said.

The appliance uses inline deduplication and compression features to reduce data during backups of both physical and virtual servers. The DR4000 is designed to work as a staging area for data images, allowing access to backed up data in seconds.

"Now you can retain data for 30 days, 60 days, 90 days of backup on disk for fast restores," Fine said. "This hits the sweet spot for Exchange servers, SQL databases and home shares."

The appliance also features all-inclusive licensing similar to that used by EquaLogic.

Dell expects to begin offering the DR4000 within a month. The company would not offer a list price for the appliance, but Fine said it would be "competitive."

Dell also announced Version 6.0 of its Compellent Storage Center software, which can be used to natively replicate virtual machine data to a storage array, and then place the data on storage tiers according to importance.

Compellent, which Dell acquired in 2010, was best known for its data tiering technology, called Fluid Data. Dell has adopted Fluid Data -- which is designed to automate the migration of data -- as a big part of its own storage strategy.

Compellent Storage Center 6.0 is capable of delegating storage-related tasks to Dell Compellent SANs and it enables quick deployment of virtual machines, freeing up network and host computing resources, according to Dell.

The software also includes support for VMware's Site Recovery Manager 5, Storage Replication Adapter, which includes automated failback, and new workflows for planned migration and downtime.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His email address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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